Doesn’t Mean You Have to Stop Growing!
This week, I’m sharing some of the most important things that I think can help keep a person on their toes and staying spritely. Right up at the top of that list is to always be learning and always be growing. When we were children, learning and growing were a way of life. We followed our curiosity like it was our job. Because it was! And then at some point, for most of us the curiosity curve just falls off and we become adults with jobs and bills to pay. And we can get kind of…boring.
Perhaps it was this future danger of a descent into “boring and busy” that prompted my best friend’s mom in high school to exhort us to, “Make sure you always stay interesting.” I’ve never forgotten that and it’s only continued to make more sense to me the older I get.
And I’ve come to understand that the most interesting people I know are also the most interested people I know.
They’ve never lost their curious streak!
When we were young, we had more opportunities for programmed time for gaining knowledge and skills. We also didn’t have as many competing responsibilities. It was still our job to be learning and growing. Once we enter the working world or the parenting world, or sometimes both, it can be hard to find the inspiration, time or resources to learn and grow.
But if we start with the inspiration, I dare say the best part about learning as an adult when you’re well out of school, is that you don’t have to do it for a grade or to get an expensive piece of paper with your name on it. You can just do it because you want to!
Outside My Wheelhouse
Here are a few things that I’ve set out to learn or try over the past few years. Many of these things were outside my wheelhouse (some were welllllll outside my wheelhouse), and many of these things were way out of my comfort zone (i.e. I had never sung in a choir before, ever!), but all of them stretched me in some wonderful ways. They were all things that sparked interest for me and I followed that interest to varying degrees:
- Design and build a floor lamp for our living room (and get very familiar with Home Depot in the process)
- Listen to all of Beethoven’s symphonies and hear his 5th performed live by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
- Understand the science of photosynthesis enough to be able to explain it to a seven year-old
- Take one photograph every day for a year with my point-and-click camera and buy a DSLR at the end of the year
- Learn the secret of pie crust and bake a new pie every month (and throw a pie party for good
- Experiment with pizza dough until I find my perfect recipe and preparation method
- Sing in a Gospel Choir (and not chicken out for the concert)
- Go to Zumba twice a week for a year (and get to the point where I don’t have to hide in the back corner)
- Learn how to use a scroll saw and make a set of children’s blocks
- Learn how to make pork dumplings from scratch
Obviously, I didn’t do all these things at once! But if I’m intentional about breaking down my time into weeks and months, I’ve found I can do more than I thought I could. My life has been all the richer (and dumpling and pie-filled) as a result!
And this is my Stay Spritely encouragement for the day – to let yourself grow and learn even just a little bit today. Follow your curiosity! If anything comes to mind about something you’ve been hoping to learn or try in this season, please share below. It would be fun to build a list of all kinds of ideas to inspire others!
P.S. Lest I forget! The biggest thing that I have been trying to grow in this season is learning all about websites, and WordPress, and Adobe and all that jazz. It’s been a big learning curve for me and I have a ways to go. I’m putting all this out here even though I still have so much to learn, so please be gentle with me as I am still a little web Padawan 🙂